Sunday, March 25, 2007

Grazin' in the Mass Media

By now you've no doubt heard about the controversy-scandal at the L.A. Times regarding the editorial page editor's choice of Hollywood producer Brian Grazer to "guest-edit" the Sunday opinion section, Current. Andres Martinez, the editorial page editor, resigned after Publisher David Hiller killed the section upon learning that Martinez was dating a publicist for Grazer. The perceived conflict of interest was the reason Hiller gave for killing the section. After Martinez resigned, he commented on some blogs, blasting various people, including Times media columnist Tim Rutten. Rutten responded on a blog, and there was one comment from him, about journalism conflicts of interest, that caught my eye. I'm sharing it only because it made me laugh and I thought it would amuse you too. Though, of course, it's also an important reminder that we need to be careful about conflicts of interest. Here's what Rutten said:

"I've always subscribed to the late Abe Rosenthal's standard for journalists: 'I don't care whether my colleagues sleep with elephants, so long as they don't cover the circus.' "